National Development Council (NDC) Minister Chen Tain-jy (???) said Monday that the council has set a target that Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) growth will top 2 percent in 2017.
Speaking during a hearing of the economics committee of the Legislative Yuan, Chen said that Taiwan's economy has been in consolidation mode in recent years and after adjustments, has the potential to grow about 3 percent next year.
"So, we have faith that the local economic growth will surpass 2 percent in 2017, the minimum increase in the NDC's projection," Chen told lawmakers.
According to ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-che (???), there have been rising concerns that Taiwan's economy will remain slow over the next few years, as the country faces challenges arising from economic integration in the region and difficulties in signing free trade agreements with its trade partners.
Chen dismissed these concerns, saying that Taiwan's economic momentum will pick up after the consolidation.
Chen's projection appeared more upbeat than the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), which gave an updated forecast in late November that Taiwan's economy will grow 1.87 percent in 2017.
The DGBAS has forecast that Taiwan's GDP growth for 2016 will reach 1.35 percent, compared with a 0.72 percent rise in 2015.
The NDC has also been more optimistic than several financial institutions in terms of Taiwan's GDP growth. Last week, the U.K.-based Standard Chartered Bank said that the growth could hit 1.6 percent. But Singapore-based DBS Group's projection came in line with Chen's, which said that Taiwan's GDP could hit 2.1 percent next year in reflection of a stronger global economy.
Chen said that the small pace of economic growth in Taiwan in recent years has undermined the confidence of many people in the country, but he emphasized that Taiwan's potential in economic growth is expected to emerge over the next five to 10 years after the current consolidation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel